Another Second Half Collapse Dooms Commodores In 77-62 Loss To Alabama

Greg Arias

NASHVILLE, TN-The Vanderbilt Commodores took the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide's best shot in the first half, but couldn't sustain as the visitors used an 18-2 run during the first eight minutes of the second half to roll to a 77-62 victory at Memorial Gym.

For the first time, this season, freshman point guard Scottie Pippen Jr. did not start, replaced by Saben Lee. It was another move by head coach Jerry Stackhouse in trying to find the best combination for his squad. 

Early in the first half the Commodores shooting from long range struggled once again, missing their first eight attempts from three before Pippen Jr. connected for their first of the game.  

The half, however, belonged to Alabama's John Petty Jr. who entered the game as the third-best three-point shooter in the conference at 47.5% was on fire early, connecting on his first four attempts from behind the arc. He would finish the half leading all scorers with 17 points. 

The Tide would build a 12 point advantage at 32-19 but the COmmodores would make a run, lead by Pippen Jr. and Dylan Disu who each connected from long range as the Vanderbilt used a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 32-30.

From there Alabama outscored the Commodores 5-1 over the final 2:09 of the half to lead 37-31 at intermission. 

Vanderbilt shot just 33% in the first half from the floor while Alabama connected on 50% overall and was 7 of 15 from three-point range.  

Alabama turned the ball over 15 times in the half, compared to only 5 for Vanderbilt yet the Commodores still trailed at halftime. The Commodores were also outrebounded 27-13 in the half.  

Lee and Pippen Jr. led the Commodores in scoring with 8 through the first twenty-minutes while Dylan Disu added seven.  

As has been the case throughout the season to this point, the Commodores offense disappeared early in the second half, going 8:24 without a field goal and allowing Alabama to run out to as much as a twenty-point second-half advantage.

The Commodores continued to battle but never threatened the Crimson Tide through the second half. 

For the game, Alabama turned the ball over 25 times yet still managed a 15 point win as the Commodores shot just 31% for the night, hitting 20-65 from the field and 5-26 from behind the arc.  

On the other side, Alabama managed 46% from the floor, connecting on 24-52 and 34% from long range, knocking down 10 of 29 three-point shots.  

Disu led the Commodores in scoring with 21 while Lee (19) and Pippen Jr. (10) were the only Vanderbilt players in double figures. Petty Jr. leads four Alabama players in double figures with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Kira Lewis Jr. (16), Jaden Shackleford (15) and Herbert Lewis (10) all finished with double digits for the Tide.  

Alabama improved to 11-7 overall and 4-2 in SEC play with their third consecutive win. It was also their first conference road win of the season. 

Vanderbilt now 8-10 overall and 0-5 in conference play turn their attention to South Carolina as they will travel to Columbia to face the Gamecocks on Saturday night.